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Articles: 2013 Articles

Adriangale - 2013 SuckerPunch!
The production sounds mighty-fine to these ears, and at this late stage of the 2013 year, I know where this album is going. Yes, straight into my top 5 albums of the year.

Amaranthe - 2013 The Nexus
The Swedish phenomenon Amaranthe is back with album #2, and appear to have taken a few steps into the near future with this sci-fi themed album 'The Nexus'.

Amaze Me - 2013 Guilty As Sin
I for one am happy to see Broman and Lind back in the saddle in 2013, 'Guilty As Sin' is the sort of album that just keeps building upon every listen, and I'm pretty certain I'll be listening to this for weeks to come.

Angelica (Sweden) - 2013 Thrive
Not only is she lovely to look at, but the girl can sing as well. I enjoyed 'Thrive', and despite it being in the middle of the road without too much in the way of edginess, this is an album that can quite easily sit in the CD player on repeat-play. Buy it!

Anubis Gate - 2013 Sheep
This is a free EP going from Nightmare Records, so check it out as it comes highly recommended from yours truly.

Anvil - 2013 Hope In Hell
Canadian heavy metal has never really been bettered by Anvil, who return in 2013 with album number 14..

Arcangel - 2013 Harlequins Of Light
The elements which made the first Arcangel record so good were the bombastic nature of the music and the pompous ideals expressed. Sure, it was a different time, but there is none of that here though. 'Harlequins Of Light' is still good for what it is, it's just not what I was expecting. Nor is it what I would call a 'hard rock' album..

Archer, Reuben - 2013 Reuben Archer's Personal Sin
This album is all about 'personal sin', and seeing as we're all a bunch of sinners here (literally), you'll be in good company once you slap in the earplugs or the headphones and get rockin' to this enjoyable set.

Arena, Tina - 2013 Reset (Deluxe Edition)
This doesn't appeal to me in the same way that the awesome 'Don't Ask' CD did, but it's a different time and place now, and we're only too glad to see her back on the podium! Bello riaverti Tina!

Armory - 2013 Empyrean Realms
'Empyrean Realms' is an utterly engaging listen. I'm sure the rapid-fire drumming might not be everyone's cup of tea, but this band isn't just about an OTT rhythm section. They appeal on many fronts, whether it's the vocalist, the twin guitars or the spiralling keyboard/synth work. The lyrics and the imagery are fantastic, and as for that album cover, I reckon it's one of the best I've seen all year.

Bambi - 2013 Complicated
To be honest, I wasn't totally hooked on this album, the arrangements kinda lacking in many respects, while the sound suffered somewhat.

Bayman, Dion - 2013 Smoke And Mirrors
It was surprising to see Australian pop rocker Dion Bayman's latest album 'Smoke And Mirrors' sitting on some obscure Russian download site the other week. Even more surprising was to receive an email from Dion a few days later. The stars must have aligned for that set of circumstances to arise, and so here we have Dion's debut CD.

Black Sabbath - 2013 13
The Sabb's first studio CD since 1995, the first with Ozzy since 1978. The comeback that all of Heavy Metal has been waiting for!

Black Star Riders - 2013 All Hell Breaks Loose
There's been some glowing adulation for this album, with one reviewer actually praising Warwick for sounding identical to Lynott. To me it's the worst thing about the album. To try and capture elements of Thin Lizzy's vintage sound the band used Kevin Shirley as producer, but not even he could save this from being a dull excuse for a hard rock album.

Blackfield - 2013 IV
Blackfield is the long-running prog pop project featuring Israeli superstar Aviv Geffen, along with UK prog legend Steven Wilson.

Blue Cartoon - 2013 Are You Getting On?
'Are You Getting On?' is refreshing, catchy and above all different. While much has been made of Blue Cartoon's move into progressive rock, the truth is this is still very much a pop record.

Boston - 2013 Life, Love, Hope
Considering he is on the downward side of 60, I think it's time for Tom to get out of the basement, and go and live a little. Perhaps a beachside hut in Tahiti might do the trick. Whatever the case, I think it's time to leave the Boston legacy alone now. Enough is enough..

Care Of Night - 2013 Care Of Night [ep]
2013 continues to produce stunning AOR from Sweden. I know some think that this possibly couldn't keep continuing at a rate of knots, with new bands spun off what seems like a never ending production line. After hearing the latest contenders Care Of Night, all I'll say is 'bring it on!!' Not yet signed, it's only a matter of time, these guys sound amazing.

Chameleon (TX) - 2013 Rising
'Rising' is a great 'down-memory-lane' look at the Texan prog scene during the 70's.

Charming Grace - 2013 Charming Grace
Yes, it's another Italian project from the reliable AOR powerhouse label Avenue Of Allies. Bringing together a who's who of AOR and melodic rock on this somewhat different album; Charming Grace is a project which brings back reminders of that fabulous Shining Line CD from 2010.

Chasing Violets - 2013 Jade Hearts
Last year we saw the debut CD from French sisters Sarah and Melisa Fontaine. Mentored by fellow French musician Frederic Slama, the debut Chasing Violets was released on the American Perris Records label. At the time, I wasn't completely enamoured with what I heard, but second time around, 'Jade Hearts' is a big improvement.

China (Switzerland) - 2013 We Are The Stars
This is nothing like the China of old. R-l-P old China. Welcome in the new! One of the surprise albums of the year, and another to grace my top 10 list.

Christian, James - 2013 Lay It All On Me
As the Frontiers record label said in their pre-release bio, 'a mature artist, songwriter, producer and performer who meets his fans with another beautifully crafted melodic rock release.' No two ways about it, this album has come like a shot from the blue, and could very well sit inside my top 10 by years end. Yes, it's that good!

Coldspell - 2013 Frozen Paradise
Though the line between heavy metal and hard rock can get very blurry from time to time, Coldspell prove that it's not difficult to straddle the two with this fine effort!

Comedy Of Errors - 2013 Fanfare And Fantasy
I'd have to say this is one of the better prog albums of 2013, and for an independent release, the quality of the sound and production cannot be faulted. Lovely stuff, and next to Andy Murray, one of the recent success stories coming out of Scotland!

Coney Hatch - 2013 Four
'Four' is not quite the comeback I was hoping for, and sort of disappointed me in the same way that 2007's Loverboy did. Still, this quartet have been out of action for far too long, and it's good to see them back.

Covered Call - 2013 Impact
Without doubt Covered Call have added to their resume with a solid album. For me, perhaps not as dynamic as their debut, but with two world class vocalists in their ranks on both albums, their reputation is not to be sniffed at.

Damnation's Day - 2013 Invisible, The Dead
Well, I'll say this about Damnation's Day. This is a band with great potential, but they've given us three sides of a coin. Yes, I may be talking in metaphors, but.. their power metal meets thrash meets acoustic ballads make this band more than just a one-dimensional entity.

Damon, Jesse - 2013 Temptation In The Garden Of Eve
It's been a long while since we looked at Jesse Damon's career. We need to go back at least a decade to refer to some of our earlier articles on him. Gosh, was it that long ago? The man behind the steely force that is Silent Rage is back in the camera eye courtesy of his AOR Heaven release 'Temptation In The Garden Of Eve'.

Daughtry - 2013 Baptized
I had this easily pegged as a top ten album for the year when I heard it was coming out, but it is definitely not in the mix. I hope this doesn't kill a chance for album 5, and I hope album 5 sounds more like album 1.

De La Cruz - 2013 Street Level
'Street Level' is a good achievement for these youngsters, and once they are in the hands of a top-notch producer then the whole melodic rock world might sit up and take notice. In the meantime, get acquainted and let's see where this leads..

Deep Purple - 2013 Now What?!
This is probably Purple's best effort since 'Purpendicular' and it's still good to have the band around as three of them reach the tail end of their sixties. About half the album works and the other half doesn't, with still too many tracks which seemingly have little purpose except to retread ideas and themes heard on previous albums.

Deep Purple - 2013 Perfect Strangers Live [DVD]
It's easy to become wary of Purple live albums as a whole, but this ranks up there with their best and we should be thankful it was recorded in the first place, although what took so long is another matter.

Def Leppard - 2013 Viva! Hysteria
These live albums in general are pointless and tedious, to be remembered by nobody in years to come. The Leps have tried to make this unique to some degree, but it's the continued hawking of 'Hysteria' which ails me.

Degreed - 2013 We Don't Belong
There's been a lot mentioned about Degreed recently, and the attention is warranted. 'We Don't Belong' as I said earlier is an intense listen. It's not an immediate album and won't grab you on the first listen. I know this was the case for me. Repeated listening sessions are required to get to the bottom of the Degreed audio experience.

Denner's Trickbag - 2013 Denner's Trickbag
He's a long way away from 80's era origins with King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, but Michael Denner is probably where he always wanted to be.. playing his own style of music. Denner's Trickbag is his new gig, and it's raw and ready guitar rock, with some Danish friends called upon for duty. In reality, this is a tribute to all the old school 70's proggies who could see this album as bowing to the altar of some of the genre greats from that era.

Diamond Dawn - 2013 Overdrive
There's been a fair few decent melodic rock and heavy metal acts come out of Goteburg Sweden. I won't name names, otherwise I'll be here all day. But you can add Diamond Dawn to that list.

Dream Theater - 2013 Dream Theater
In interviews promoting their first self-titled album, that came out this September, members of Dream Theater hyped it beyond belief, saying that for the first time in the studio they witnessed 'Mangini unleashed'. The fans believed the hype; was it warranted?

Eden's Curse - 2013 Symphony Of Sin
Here's another band that has bypassed the pages of GDM for whatever reason. A favourite over at, I could never fathom why they garnered goo's and gah's, so I decided to do a little inquiring on my own, and this latest effort (their fourth) 'Symphony Of Sin' has given me reason to believe that the post-menstrual male gushing might have some merit after all.

Faith Circus - 2013 Turn Up The Band
There's a wealth of good to great material on 'Turn Up The Band' that warrants your attention. Faith Circus have turned the dials up on 'Turn Up The Band', thanks to Thomas Haugland's production and Denis Ward's mastering.

Fall Out Boy - 2013 Save Rock And Roll
We are well into February 2014 and I am still playing this album, the two great videos are worth checking out for 'The Phoenix' and 'My Songs..' Seriously try something different, this is not my usual standard fare but heck, great songs and great albums sometimes come in the most unexpected packages.

Fannon, John - 2013 Saved All The Pieces
'Saved All The Pieces' marks a very welcome return to the music scene of John Fannon, one time vocalist/songwriter of the much missed and undervalued AOR band New England.

Farraday - 2013 Shade Of Love
Talk about getting carried away. I had one listen to the first track of this new Greek project Farraday, and I was singing up its praises. But then I listened to the remainder of the album and my praise faded away like a deflated balloon. Oh dear. A shame really..

Fate - 2013 If Not For The Devil
I think the material here is slightly stronger and consistent than we heard on 'Ghosts From The Past', and as an Avenue Of Allies release, this would sit nicely alongside the rest of their roster for 2013. Well done, and yay Denmark!

Fates Warning - 2013 Darkness In A Different Light
In an era where progressive metal has increased in popularity due to an influx of the young fans and players of the sound, they haven't been active in the studio for about nine years. A recipe for disaster? Maybe.

Feeling, The - 2013 Boy Cried Wolf
After two years, The Feeling are back with a new album. This is a beautiful performed album; they should be recognised as one of the most accomplished British groups. The listeners enjoyment multiplies with every broken hearted chapter in this diary of songs.

Fifth On The Floor - 2013 Ashes & Angels
This is the third release from these Kentucky boys and they just seem to get better and better.

Find Me - 2013 Wings Of Love
Without doubt, there is something for every melodic rock lover on 'Wings Of Love'. Ballads, rockers, high-engagement anthems, soaring melodies. Oh yes, I can see this album sitting comfortably in my top 10 toward years end. Find 'Find Me' and get acquainted asap!

FM (UK) - 2013 Rockville
This album came out in March, and no one here has written about it yet, which makes me believe this batch of songs did not make a spectacular impression on a few of you. If you were hoping for another 'Indiscreet' or 'Tough It Out', I can understand. If you liked where they went with 'Metropolis', then this should suit you well.

FM (UK) - 2013 Rockville II
As is the case with 'Rockville', this won't scratch the itch for those who want another 'Indiscreet' or 'Tough It Out'. But if you enjoyed 'Metropolis', and you like your AOR served with some rhythm & blues and a touch of country, you should enjoy this. I sure do.